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Do you sell to local clients?


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#1 Onvx

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 03:59 PM

I am wanting to start a small shop to sell design work and hosting to local small business clients... anyone in here do that yet? I would like to pick your brain about it, and maybe get some pointers. Please pm or IM me.

#2 Blaundy

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 08:27 AM

Onvx and to everyone. That is a great question and there is no wrong answer. Everyone would benefit from the responses. Sooo, please post them in the forum.
I started by opening my local phone book and making calls to small businesses. I had my first client before the tenth call.


Good luck,
blaundy

#3 Onvx

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 03:28 PM

blaundy that is exactly what I was thinking of doing, do you have aol im? or msn messenger so we can chat?

#4 Fred|AccountDeletedAgain

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 04:02 PM

I do some freelancing work for local people...

#5 Tgamble

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Posted 14 February 2004 - 10:23 PM

I live in a very small country town in Alabam but it is very historic. Myself and a friend decided to check out the local competition and to our surprise (and keep in mind neither of us have lived here very long) there were no design companies , hosting companies or anything in that general area for at least 75 miles so we went got the business liscense and found a financial backer (we are both on very limited budgets but love to design) we now have over 90 percent of the businesses in town and hopefully real soon we can start to show a little profit (have to pay back the loans first lol) we have even very recently gotten the city contract to do a site for the city the one they have now one of the secretaries at the courthouse did in her spare time. ok ok Im rambling I guess what I'm trying not so quickly to say is that if you have the drive and do a little checking on the competition you would be amazed at what you find. And it has been one of the most exciting things I have ever done.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
--1 Corinthians 13:6

#6 Maverik60

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 06:27 AM

Create a Nice business atmosphere, present yourself as a professional, Make sure you have a portfolio already setup. Have a reliable and online server, etc. And just present yourself properly and you should do fine.

#7 Dom.S

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 07:07 PM

I'm in a pretty similar situation here, and any suggestions/advice would be appreciated a lot.

The idea of going after local businesses seems to be a decent one but I must admit I'm not sure where to start. I'm considering picking out certain types of business (eg motorbike shops, indie music shops, anything really) and phoning them, in the hope I might be able to build up a 'folio of similar sites and create a bit of a niche market.

It's pretty confidence inspiring to read you got a customer within about 10 calls, Blaundy. You must have a pretty decent sales spiel. :)

#8 Xerxes

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 08:23 PM

This has been a dream of mine for quite some time now (even though I am only 18). I have even set up my own company website at www.whitedrake.com . It is very hard to find clients though, as there are a few other companies in town even though I am better than them. So, I find myself only doing freelance work from these companies. What I need is some financial backing and to get my own servers. Because right now, I am just getting space from one of the local companies I do work for. I have tried the whole calling businesses thing and I just feel weird doing it. I hate telemarketers, so I feel kinda bad about calling. I went through about 25 or so calls just to be shot down everytime. If someone could help me with the sales pitch, I would greatly appreciate it.
Patrick Johnson
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#9 Onvx

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 11:18 PM

Xerxes, what did you say on the phone? What kind of businesses did you call? Where did you get the numbers? Did they all already have a site? A bad design? Did you talk to the decision makers each time? Hard to believe not even 1 person was intrested.

Don't let the "No thanks" affect you. You are doing them a favor, they just don't know it! I think most designers know how important it is for a company to have a website... you need to inform them. Smart business owners will listen to you.

My advice... don't bother getting your server first, in fact you should be able to start with hardly any money, just some business cards. Sign up for a cheaper hosting reseller account ($20-$30 per month). Then put your effort in prospecting for clients. And don't worry about working "out of your home" it will not affect your image that much... if anyone asks just tell them if you had a regular office you would have to charge them triple! 9 out of 10 people would perfer the lower price vs the nice office.
  • jlinds72 likes this

#10 jlinds72

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 11:33 PM

Hi Xerxes -

I agree with what Onvx offered - plus have a little tip of my own to offer. I think more important than calling is to get out there in person. Put together a professional portfolio (in print), and actually pay some business a visit. I used to work on the apartment industry, and was a property manager for a few years...recently I decided to put together some corporate identity packages geared towards the housing industry, and visited around 20 different apt. complexes in the area. I gave them a little presentation,showing them what it was that I could offer - and what I could do better & cheaper than who they were currently using. As a result, I now have 6 of them for clients and am working on brochures, new identities, and in-house promotional items for them.

I think that people are more inclined to immediately say "no, thanks" if you're on the phone. Face to face meetings make a much better impression. Always take into account that these people more than likely are busy, so don't be pushy - but you can be persistent. It's certainly not something that will happen overnight, but the more you get your name out there - the higher your chances of getting clients will be. Best of luck!

~Jenn
Jenn Lindsey - Freelance Graphic Designer
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong" - Joseph Chilton Pearce

My website: jennlindsey.com

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#11 Xerxes

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 10:17 PM

Hey, thanks for your help guys! I am gonna have to start trying that. I will have to start getting out there this week. The main problem I run into though is that 90% of the time the person in charge is not available.
Patrick Johnson
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